Health Reform WK-EDGE Dismissal of an individual mandate challenge must be without prejudice
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Monday, January 22, 2018

Dismissal of an individual mandate challenge must be without prejudice

By Susan Smith, J.D., M.A.

Although the appellate court agreed that an attorney challenging the individual mandate tax lacked standing, the appellate court vacated and remanded the judgment finding that the district court improperly dismissed the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction with prejudice. The appellate court determined that the attorney’s arguments were without merit, but it concluded that when a case is dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, the case must be dismissed without prejudice (Bank v. U.S. Dept. of HHS, January 12, 2018, Calabresi, G.).

The individual mandate challenge. The attorney challenged the constitutionality of 26 U.S.C. §5000A, which was added by sec. 1501 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148), which requires individuals to pay a tax if they do not maintain minimum essential health coverage. The attorney argued that §5000A violated his constitutional right not to purchase health care coverage and the Origination Clause (Article 1, Sec. 7, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution) that requires all bills for raising revenue originate in the House of Representatives.

The district court found that there was no constitutional right to forgoing the purchase health coverage and the individual mandate provision was not a bill for raising revenue subject to the requirements of the Origination Clause. Therefore, the district court concluded it lacked subject matter jurisdiction and granted HHS motion to dismiss the complaint with prejudice.

The appellate court’s reasoning. The appellate court agreed that the attorney lacked standing to challenge §5000A noting that he had not demonstrated that he suffered an injury in fact. Specifically, he maintains qualified health coverage and does not have to pay the shared responsibility payment required under the law. In addition, he is not at imminent risk of owing the payment. A dismissal for subject matter jurisdiction, however, must be without prejudice, therefore, the appellate court vacated the judgment and remanded the case to the district court to enter a dismissal without prejudice.

The case is No. 17-686.

Attorneys: Todd C. Bank, pro se. Alisa Beth Klein, U.S. Attorney's Office, for Eric D. Hargan and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Companies: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Cases: CaseDecisions NewsFeed AgencyNews GeneralNews IndividualMandateNews PenaltyNews ConnecticutNews NewYorkNews VermontNews

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